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Brooklyn
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Previous Quarterly Reads > May-July Quarterly Irish Read 2014: Brooklyn

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

This is the discussion thread for our May-July quarterly, Irish read of 2014, Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín.

I look forward to discussing this book with you all and reading you thoughts and opinions.

Declan. :)


Susan | 4707 comments I read this book several years ago and really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the discussion.


message 3: by Serf (new)

Serf I really thought you'd pick unspoken Declan, however I did go and order Brooklyn as a few members here have read it and it's all good reviews.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Glad to hear you both liked it. I feel more confident about the decision, now.

I almost did pick Unspoken, Seraphina, but I made sure I plugged it, at least.


Trelawn Brilliant, I've been meaning to read this for a while and now I get to discuss it with you all too :-)


message 6: by Serf (new)

Serf It was a tough choice to have to make


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

It seems to be a popular choice, which plaeases me. :)


Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments I am behind Declan's reason for which book he chose to break the tie. Hear! Hear!
I've read Brooklyn so I will read Unspoken. My book club didn't love it. I will withhold our reasons for the spoiler thread. But an Irish perspective will be interesting...


Sara | 2357 comments Mod
I would have been happy with any of the top three. I've decided to read both Brooklyn and The Martian as audiobooks. I've spent my Audible credit on The Martian, and I'm on the top of the library hold list for the book on cd of Brooklyn.


Allan It's been a while since I read this one, so I think a reread is in order for me.


message 11: by Tara (last edited Apr 29, 2014 02:01PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tara | 118 comments I read Brooklyn a year or two ago and looking forward to the discussing it with you all. Yes, an Irish perspective will be interesting Barbara as I leant it to a Canadian friend who didn't think much of it, although I thought it was a very good read.


message 12: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
Maybe you could do your reread on audiobook Allan?


Allan It's not that long a book, Sara, so I'll be happy to read my paper copy. I've also got a pretty long Audible wishlist, and even though I have 2 credits, I'm holding off for another BOGO to help build up my summer listening material...


Allan Here's an episode of World Book Club about the novel that I'll definitely listen to, though.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00j74mq


Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments This talk of Audible got me to use one credit to get Adrian McKinty's Dead Yard. I also picked up a Carlos Fuentes audiobook The Death of Artemio Cruz at a reduced price after buying the kindle book. That makes 4 books I've "bought" this month from Audible. I am hoping they all count for the $10 credit deal. One was a daily deal, one was bought with a credit, and 2 were whispersync deals.


Susan | 4707 comments Allan wrote: "It's not that long a book, Sara, so I'll be happy to read my paper copy. I've also got a pretty long Audible wishlist, and even though I have 2 credits, I'm holding off for another BOGO to help bui..."

Why, Allan? Is there more painting in your future? :)


message 17: by Mo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mo | 81 comments Thanks, Declan. This is on my end table. I'm happy to have the chance to read it. I don't relish your moderator job!


Allan No more painting scheduled, but with seven weeks holiday starting on 27th June, there'll be a lot of dog walking and no doubt a little gardening-audiobooks are perfect for both!


Susan | 4707 comments I don't remember a time when you weren't painting, Allan. Perhaps your mom's needs a pick me up. How is she doing by the way? Has she recovered from her accident?


message 20: by I-like-to-read (new)

I-like-to-read (akakate) I read this book a while ago and found it dull.

I might go and see the film as it was filmed locally and I know a few people who were extras. Brag Brag. Tee hee - Kate


Laura | 258 comments I read Brooklyn several years back and really liked it. It was the first book my real time book club read (at my suggestion0. They didn't appreciate how influential the Irish culture could be and so didn't quite get it. I am anxious to read it again. Too bad I lent it out to that never ending traveling library of friends. No idea where it is now. There is a comparison to the Dubliner's short story Eveline. I understand a movie was started in April right in Eniscorthy. It will be interesting to compare. The runner-ups sound good and will go on my to-read list.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

@Laura. It looks like it's really divisive. I can't wait to start it, but I usually read the monthly read first and the QIR after. I wonder if it's divisiveness will be apparant.

@Kate. what's it like rubbing shoulders with the stars in Wexford?


message 23: by Emma (last edited Apr 30, 2014 10:40AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Flanagan (emma89) Like a number of people I read it a few years ago and enjoyed it. I'm surprised people have found it to be not well liked outside of Ireland. I get how the Irish culture elements may not translate. I went to see Stones in his Pockets a few months ago, which is very Irish (would defiantly recommend to anyone) and was talking to some English people at intermission. They hated it, couldn't understand it, total case of lost in translation. However with Brooklyn I would have thought the theme of emigration would have been sufficiently relatable for most people. It's not like Irish people are the only ones who've ever emigrated, or even just moved significant distances away from their home town.


message 24: by Serf (new)

Serf Found this old article about Brooklyn making comparisons with silas marner which has made me even more interested in this book now.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/boo...


message 25: by I-like-to-read (new)

I-like-to-read (akakate) @ Declan - starstruck tee hee.

A lot of the locals were complaining about one teeny tiny little road being closed for a week, and that it was causing a traffic jam, if you know Enniscorthy you will know that there’s always gridlock. Also some of the traders were complaining that they were losing business, hopefully once the film comes out it will attract tourists and the shopkeepers will get to make a bit of money.


message 26: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Flanagan (emma89) Its an interesting article all right Seraphina


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

@Seraphina. I might have to read Silas Marner now. I hate to think. I might be missing out on points of interest.

@Kate. Yeah, people should have a little patience. It might do for Wexford what Angela's Ashes did for Limerick: make everyone feel depressed at the mention of it.

(Sly nod to Seraphina.) ;)


Susan | 4707 comments Great article, Seraphina.


message 29: by Serf (new)

Serf Well if it's anyway as depressing as AA I might give up on Irish novels lol


Trelawn About 100 pages into Brooklyn and liking it so far. It started slow and even now there isn't a whole lot going on but I guess it's not that kind of book.


message 31: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments Seraphina wrote: "Found this old article about Brooklyn making comparisons with silas marner which has made me even more interested in this book now.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/boo......"


Thanks for posting that article, Seraphina. Now I have a little context for the book. Someone at work gave/lent me the book awhile ago, saying that although she didn't take to it...she thought it was "my kind" of book. We'll see :)


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm really keen to see why it might be so divisive. When I read about so many love/ hate reactions it makes me worry that I'll be in the hate camp.


Susan | 4707 comments Unless it's sci-fi.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

I've read some bad sci-fi in.my time too, Susan.


Trelawn Just finished Brooklyn tonight. I really enjoyed it, Toibin is a very good storyteller. I was mildly frustrated at the end but won't go into the whys and wherefores until others have finished.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

I'll open a spoiler thread soon, Trelawn, and you can vent your spleen about the ending, there.


Trelawn Thanks Declan, for now I have the other half to rant about it to :-)


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Got myself a copy today. I'm looking forward to starting this. My tomorrow I'll have something to report back about it.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

The spoiler thread for Brooklyn is open. I should see you there in a couple of days, guys. :)


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm about 60 pages in. The book a certain charm, but I'm finding it pretty dull. The comments warned me of a slow start, so I'm pretty happy to persevere.


message 41: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments I'm hoping to start it this weekend, and I'm curious about it, especially since it gets such mixed reviews.


message 42: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Flanagan (emma89) Started my re read of this. I'm enjoying it more this time than I did when I read it back around 2009. I think it's the whole thing around having to emigrate is more relatable now. When I read it in 09 having to emigrate, as oppose to by choice, was something my parents generation did, not mine. Now it's the reality for my generation. Even though I haven't had to, almost everyone I went to school or college with has.

On a lighter note I like how Eilis complains about the taste of the milk and bread. I remember when I was in America and thinking the bread and milk tasted too sweet, like it had sugar in it.


Trelawn I liked that too Emma it's always the little things you miss when you're away. I also like how she finds it hard to adjust to the extemes of hot and cold in Brooklyn.


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

When I lived in England I couldn't enjoy my tea because the water was so different.


Trelawn I didn't mind the tea in England particulary if we ate in a greasy spoon cafe but I hate in Germany or wherever when they serve UHT with your tea. ick.


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

Never had to suffer UHT for any real length of time. Don't get me wrong, I still drank tea while I lived in England, but it just wasn't the how I liked it.


Trelawn I know what you mean, you can't beat an Irish cup of tea :-)


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

... With Brennan's toast! :)


Trelawn you mean Brennan's batch of course :-)


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Yer only man! :)


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